Getting Your Oil Changed: What You Need to Know
Although everyone who owns a car understands that they must get oil changes, there is still some mystery as to how often, what kind of oil, and why regular oil changes are so vital to your car’s health and longevity. The team at Christian Brothers Automotive Spring wants to remove the guesswork from your auto repair; here is a breakdown of what you need to know before you get your oil changed.
The Importance of Changing Your Vehicle's Oil
Oil is what lubricates all the moving pieces of your engine so that your car runs smoothly. Over time, oil breaks down and becomes thicker, making it more difficult to move through your engine. A proper oil change will drain all the sludgy, old oil and replace it with fresh oil so your car runs at peak efficiency.
Checking Your Owner's Manual
Almost any question you have about your car can be answered within this small book, including how often your car needs an oil change and which kind of oil is best for your vehicle. Modern cars are now equipped with sensors to inform you when it is time to change the oil and if the oil level is low. It's important to check your oil levels once a month and if the vehicle is low on oil, top it off.
How Do I Check My Oil Level?
If you drive an older model vehicle, chances are it will be equipped with a dipstick, which is a rod for measuring the level of oil in your car. While your car is not running, open the hood and look for the dipstick, pull it out, and wipe it off with a clean paper towel. Then, place it back in and quickly look at where the oil is on the end of the stick.
There are a few different markers that are seen on dipsticks. Sometimes, L and H, or Min and Max are used, and sometimes it is just a pair of dots. If your oil is below the minimum mark, that means you need to top it off.
Also, make note of the color of the oil; it should be brown or black. If it appears milky, that could indicate you have a coolant leak. If there are small pieces of metal, that means you could be experiencing engine damage. Take your car to an auto mechanic if you witness any of these signs.
What Happens During an Oil Change?
Simply put, the auto mechanic will drain the old, gunky oil and replace it with the proper oil for your vehicle. They may ask if you have a preference for synthetic or conventional oil, but that can still depend on your car. Keep in mind, some engines require synthetic oil, while others do not. So make sure the selected oil type matches the viscosity and oil specifications listed in your owner's manual.
Oil Changes: Your Car Engine’s Best Friend
Whether it is hot or cold outside, you will eventually need your oil changed. Oil changes are not dependent on the weather. Most modern engines can go 7,000 miles to 10,000 miles before needing an oil change. If your engine's sensor informs you that it is time for an oil change, be sure to get your oil changed as soon as possible. Avoiding oil changes can cause damage to your engine, which will likely be expensive to repair.
It is equally important that you get your oil changed by a knowledgeable professional. At Christian Brother's Automotive Spring, our friendly auto technicians have over 120 years of combined experience, and we are here to educate and serve you with all of your car’s needs!